They seemed to be the luxury version of the door-knocking campaigns that political candidates indulge in – usually the only time you ever see them at all.
The big difference is that these particular politicians arrive on a chartered plane and use boats to cross the lagoons to reach them.
It must have been like manna from heaven for the people involved to have the undivided attention of both the PM and the finance minister at their own home as they attempted to woo and coo at them into voting for their side.
However, by the end of the story – enjoyable as it was – I realised it had provided absolutely no analysis of the concerns of the Pae Tokerau, nor of what the current administration intended to do to assist the people up north to make their lives easier.
While the stated purpose of the report was to provide an independent account of the election campaign, it did not include interviews with any other candidates up north at all – aside from a passing reference to Wilkie Rasmussen meeting their plane.
Instead the story morphed into a travel advertorial with pretty pictures of up north.
Anyway, it was a lovely story for the weekend.